How to Use the Hidden Search Tabs Feature in Chrome, Safari, and Firefox

How to Use the Hidden Search Tabs Feature in Chrome, Safari, and Firefox
Photo: Khamosh Pathak

It’s easy to get lost in a sea of open tabs between multiple browser windows — sometimes even with the same website in multiple tabs. Instead, use the built-in search tabs feature in your browser to keep things organised. You’ll find this feature in all major browsers like Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. And while the new Microsoft Edge runs on the Chromium engine it doesn’t have Chrome’s search tabs feature yet — but you can replicate it using an extension.

How to search open tabs in Chrome

Screenshot: Khamosh Pathak Screenshot: Khamosh Pathak

Chrome version 87 and higher adds a new search tabs feature right in the tabs bar — you’ll find a downwards triangle icon at the end. Click on it to see a list of all the open tabs, including recently closed ones.

Click the “Search Tabs” text box to search between all the open tabs across all your windows, and simply select a page to switch to it.

How to search open tabs in Firefox

Screenshot: Khamosh Pathak Screenshot: Khamosh Pathak

The search tabs feature in Firefox is a bit hidden: It’s integrated directly in the URL bar, and there’s no dedicated button for it.

Open the Firefox browser and click the URL bar. Here, enter the % key, then hit the Spacebar. You will now see a list of all the open tabs. You can continue typing to search and filter the tabs. Use the arrow keys or the mouse to navigate to the tab you want to switch to, and hit the Enter key.

How to search open tabs in Safari

Screenshot: Khamosh Pathak Screenshot: Khamosh Pathak

Safari has a built-in Search tabs feature in its Tabs page, but the problem is that it only lets you search the tabs in the current window.

Open the Safari browser and click the Tabs button in the top-right corner of the screen (it looks like two squares, one on top of another). Then, click the “Search Tabs” text box in the top-right corner and start searching. Once you find the website you want, just click on the preview to switch to it.

How to search open tabs in Microsoft Edge

Screenshot: Khamosh Pathak Screenshot: Khamosh Pathak

Microsoft Edge still doesn’t have the search tabs feature from Chrome. Until that’s added, you can use a third-party extension to replicate the functionality.

First, install, and activate the Search all Tabs extension. Then, click the extension icon from the toolbar (it looks like a magnifying glass). Type the title of the page, or the website that you want to switch to.

The extension will search all open tabs across all your windows. Once you find the page, press the Enter key to open the first search result. You can select other results using the arrow keys.

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